The Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII are a bit different from the all-metal hip implants in that they implement a ceramic ball rather than a metal one. Since the major problem with the metal-on-metal hip implant design is the fact that the ball and acetabular cup rub against one another causing tiny metal ions to shear away and lodge into the surrounding tissue or bloodstream, it was believed the ceramic ball of the Rejuvenate and ABGII would effectively circumvent this issue. Unfortunately, the design turned out to have some different problems however the result was the same—metal ions in the body leading to metallosis.
Metallosis can cause serious adverse health symptoms for the recipient of the hip implant, many of which are irreversible, even when the implant is removed. The Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII were recalled this past July due to the risk of fretting and corrosion at the neck juncture. It was later found out that the metal trunnions, located at either end of the neck piece are made of metal as well. Body fluids can become trapped underneath the trunnions, corrosion occurs and metal ions are released into the body just as with the all-metal implant. The trunnions on the neck snap into the stem on one end and the ball on the other, giving surgeons freedom to choose the perfect size components for each individual patient.
There is considerably less metal surface area than in the metal-on-metal hip implant, meaning there will be lower levels of cobalt and chromium in the body. The problem is that any level of cobalt and chromium can be too much. In persons who are particularly sensitive to these metals, even small amounts can make them very sick. Others with a relatively high tolerance for the metal ions may not notice any adverse effects until the levels in their body have built up to an alarming amount, then they may fall very ill. The following health issues are common in cases of metallosis:
- Kidney problems and renal failure
- Neurological issues
- Cardiovascular problems
- Loss of vision and hearing
- Disruption of DNA
- Thyroid problems
- Fatigue, anxiety, depression
- Loss of memory
- Chronic headaches and brain “fog”
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Skin disorders
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- The development of pseudo-tumors
Those who have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII—or any other metal hip implant—in their body should take special precautions. You must have regular blood work to monitor the levels of cobalt and chromium in your body, and your doctor may also want you to have a bone scan to determine whether there is any deterioration of the bone or tissue surrounding your implant. An experienced products liability attorney can also help inform you of your rights and assess your individual situation in order to determine what your options are for your future.